Monday, September 10, 2012

#suicideawarenessday

     The first time someone told me I was depressed was in high school. Although, it was not the first time I had felt the dark sad space. I remember that feeling like a pit in my stomach pulling me inward from the top of my head. I couldn't stop crying but, I didn't know exactly why I was crying to start with. All I really wanted to do was crawl in bed and be left alone. I clearly remember thinking that no one would care if I just disappeared.

 I worked at an OB/GYN office and a wonderful nurse practitioner took me into an exam room. She asked me questions, gave me a check up and then told me what she thought. She said

" I think your manic depressive" 

My mom said I was being dramatic and got irritated with the "show" she thought I was putting on. I don't know if she even remembers that day. I went home sucked it up and just kept doing what I had to. I would leave school and go to work. From work I'd go straight to church and meetings. My whole week was jammed packed, not a moment to breath. I started junior college, had a serious boyfriend..but new changes didn't change me.

There was a day that I was driving to work and I wanted to let go of the wheel so bad. It seemed like it would be so easy. I would go over the side, I wouldn't hurt anyone else. So easy.
   
      As I got older the dark sad space only got bigger. I would try to fill that space with work, school, friends, partying....but it never went away.I thought the cure would be family, at the time I was living in Lake Tahoe. So I moved home, started back to school, tried to feel normal. I was living with my sister during a bad episode, another moment where I just couldn't stop the tears. Everyone said "It's because you aren't working.You need to go back to work"...so I did. I made new friends started partying again. That feeling didn't stop.

This is the point in my story where you would think a light would appear. And at the end was Micah on his white horse. We met, fell in love, road into the sunset...never to be sad again.                                         Not exactly

    When you fall for your best friend and he packs up and goes to bootcamp...it might make you a little sad. You get married, he goes to Iraq....might make you sadder still. Then you have a miscarriage while he's gone.....a miscarriage that you had prayed and wished for. And all the darkness that had been building for over a decade swallows you whole and squeezes your neck. All at once you can't breath or move. You start to tell yourself that he'll find out it's your fault. He'll find out that you didn't want to be pregnant and he'll leave you. You imagine that because this one tiny piece of him is gone, that maybe he'll die and there will be nothing left.....and it will be your fault.

 Living with the guilt of my own thoughts had brought out the darkest of demons. The weight of the walls closing in was too much for me. I didn't want to live with myself, surrounded by family that loved me. Again those thought started to sneak into my head.

 If only I could escape somewhere...disappear. Maybe I could go some place where it would take time for them to notice I was gone.


 So I did just that, I went and stayed with some friends in Lake Tahoe. Slowly I started to climb out of that hole...convinced myself that it wouldn't be fair to Micah if I died. The doctor had prescribed me Zoloft...but I never took them like I was supposed to.

     There has been several times over the past 8 yrs that I have had to fight the darkness inside me. Becoming a mom doesn't make it go away...but it helps. It helps to feel that you are needed. It helps to feel that I have a purpose to fulfill. I hit the rocks a couple of months ago. Micah was mad at me and yelled at me. He told me to leave..so I did. When I was driving and sobbing I started to have those thoughts again.

Maybe I could let go of the wheel and go head first into this semi coming toward me. 

He wouldn't be injured...he's in the big truck. It would be so easy. Then Micah could find a new wife who'd be a better mother. My job could find someone who's better at dispatching than me. My family doesn't talk to me anyways so it wouldn't matter to them....all these thoughts flooding my head as I sped out of town. 

Then I looked into the rear view mirror and saw the car seat. I couldn't do that to my children. The pain and burden to be left with them. My Fish is sensitive and emotional...I couldnt break her that way. My Butterfly would surely end up the jailbird...I wouldn't let that happen. My Moose not even 2 years old...losing his mom. No I couldn't do that to them. But I thought about it and that was bad enough. 

      Most of my days are ok. I still feel the dark and scary creeping just at the edges of my mind. But I fight harder now. I still don't take medication...I just don't want to be altered. I had seen my mother become a zombie for years. I don't want to miss my life in a haze of antidepressants.That is my choice, some people can't choose and need to take them. I am glad they find what works for them. My mom is my rock of support these days. When she starts to see me fraying and on the brink she tells me I need to go back to counseling. She also thinks I should take the meds....on this we disagree. Micah doesn't know exactly what to do..but he asks what he can do and it's enough. 

     Today is International Suicide Prevention day. To show your support you can write the word love on your wrist. It's not about being weak minded or people looking for attention. Although you may know someone who is weak minded and you may know someone who is looking for attention....you can't generalize all of us.

 Much of what I just wrote has never been told to anyone before. And I sit here pouring my soul on to the screen, tears streaming down and, I know that some will have judgement. All I can say is today of all days find your compassion....realize that not everyone is as strong as you may be. Realize that I am not asking for you to help me in my struggle. I'm just asking you to be aware that there are many who do struggle. Everyday is a battle between my mind and my heart and, every morning I'm still here...... I know who wins.